Thursday, 19 November, 2009 , 03:13 PM
In these columns on Tuesday, 17 November, 2009, I wrote the sixth part of my review of the multidisciplinary book authored by two brilliant academics, humanists and ardent patriots, Professor Makkhan Lal and Professor Rajendra Dixit titled ‘EDUCATING TO CONFUSE AND DISRUPT: Defiling History and Education System of India’.
In Chapter 3 titled ‘History of Indian History Writing’, Professor Makkhan Lal and Professor Rajendra Dixit, have convincingly written about and proved how the tool of history and history writing has been mischievously used by the Congress Government and Communist Governments after our Independence to politically intimidate and culturally undermine the Hindus of India.
Max Mueller wrote as follows to the Duke of Argyll on December 16, 1868: “India has been conquered ONCE, but India must be conquered AGAIN, and that second conquest should be CONQUEST BY EDUCATION”.
What did Max Mueller mean by FIRST CONQUEST? He was referring to the victory of Lord Macaulay and his English system of education, in 1835, over the Oriental learning that had been recommended by distinguished Orientalists like H.H Wilson, James Princep. These distinguished Orientalists had recommended the continuance and wider diffusion of traditional learning through languages like Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarathi, Assamese, Hindi, Arabic, Urdu and Persian. We can see the clever timing of Max Mueller’s letter. One generation had passed after the introduction of English as a medium of education in 1835. The Universities of Madras, Calcutta and Bombay had been established by 1860. The first batch of “brown Sahib” graduates in English education had come out of these Universities.
It was in the larger British colonial interests to mislead the minds of these young ‘brown Sahibs’ about the cultural heritage of ancient India. Physical and geographical political enslavement of India had been completed by 1850. The imperial foundations for the cultural enslavement and colonization of the minds, hearts and souls of the Indians had been well and truly laid by Macaulay in collusion with the Governor General Lord William Bentinck in 1835. Max Mueller wanted this process to be taken to its logical conclusion through the hastening of the process of SECOND CONQUEST.
The SECOND CONQUEST was fully achieved by 1900 in a matter of less than two generations. Thus the following dream of Macaulay expressed vigorously in his Minutes of 1835 had thus become a reality in 1900: ‘natives of India was declared by Lord Macaulay at the end of his famous Minutes cited above: ‘We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions we govern — A CLASS OF PERSONS INDIAN IN BLOOD AND COLOUR, BUT ENGLISH IN TASTES, IN OPINIONS, IN MORALS AND IN INTELLECT’. (Reminds one of Jawaharlal Nehru!!!)
|MAX MULLER (1823-1900)|
When Max Mueller spoke about the need for the SECOND CONQUEST in 1868, he was clear in his mind that not only British authorities in England and India but also the newly arrived Indian ‘brown Sahibs’ turned out by our Universities at that time should participate with gusto in proving the denigrating assessments of Macaulay about the knowledge contained in Sanskrit literature as true. These ‘brown Sahibs’ were expected to function with the rare degree of dedication and cold-blooded detachment as Anglican torch bearers of the new English system of anti-Sanskrit and anti-Hindu enslaving education. These half-baked hybrid Indians with a colonial mindset started endorsing wholeheartedly the following assessment of Lord Macaulay. ‘It is, I believe, no exaggeration to say that all the historical information which has been collected from all the books written in Sanskrit language is less valuable than what may be found in the most paltry abridgements used at Preparatory Schools in England.’
According to Professor Makkhan Lal and Professor Rajendra Dixit, this ‘class’ of persons created by Macaulay and supported by Max Mueller have continued their colonial cultural and intellectual depredations even in post-Independent India. This was made possible by the imposition of minority-appeasing political programme and philosophy of anti-Hindu “secularism” of Jawaharlal Nehru who served as the First Prime Minister of Independent India for 17 long years from 1947 to 1964.
The two authors have rightly pointed out that as a fallout from the policy of anti-Hindu minority appeasement of the Government of India, In a strange manner history has virtually taken over the media space available for academics, during the last 10 years. The endless debates, newspaper articles, talks in seminars, acrimonious television shows, radio talks and publication of books and pamphlets would easily prove this point. This is an unprecedented development. It is hard to believe that even Court Cases have been filed and the Human Rights Commission has been approached for requisite legal relief on the subject of Curriculum, in general, and Social Science Curriculum, including history Curriculum, in particular, alleging ‘SAFFRONISATION’, ‘COMMUNALIZATION’ and ‘TALIBANISATION’ of Education and History.
The authors have rightly pointed out that history, history writing and history teaching have, indeed become newsworthy not only in India but also in most other parts of the world. The reasons may be different, varying from country to country — the construction of a National History Curriculum in England and Wales, the decision of National History Standards in Germany, the approach to invasion of Latin American countries by the Europeans, the development of new curricula in the successor states of the former USSR, or even the re-writing of History text books in Russia after the collapse of the former USSR. To quote the words of Professor Makkhan Lal and Professor Rajendra Dixit, “Issues of identities, heritage and citizenship, all rooted in the past, have become the hot stuff of politics.”
I fully endorse the view of these two authors when they write: “To say that History is a science, as many Marxist historians propagate, is nothing but a fallacy”. David Clarke was right when he expressed the view that History is an ‘undisciplined’ discipline. The writing of history involves not only facts but also the political, social, economic and other kinds of ideological agendas and claptrap of historians.
According to Professor Makkhan Lal and Professor Rajendra Dixit problems begin when the hard facts of history are trimmed, selectively quoted or presented in a coloured and distorted manner or even swept under the carpet to suit the historian’s Marxist agenda. Such attempts and practices have led to the presentation of not only factually incorrect history but also distorted history, which finally results in the distortion of a nation’s history, it’s peoples past and their identity.
Against this background these two authors have come to the irrefutable conclusion that for the past 40 years, the stage of Indian history has been dominated, managed and controlled by those openly professing a Marxist approach to history and proudly flaunting their membership cards of one communist party or another. They have controlled not only institutions of Higher learning but also the national research funding agencies like the University Grants Commission (UGC), the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), the Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR), the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR). Even the elementary and Higher Secondary Education and educational organisations like the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), The State Councils of Educational Research and Training and Boards of Secondary Education have not escaped Marxist attention. All of them have been forced to function under their thumbs. These two authors have concluded thus: “Through people selectively placed in these organisations, our Marxist activists have implemented their political, social and economic agenda and got their own books, research monographs and textbooks published, prescribed and taught”.
One of the most disturbing — and of course interesting — aspects of the recent campaign of the ‘eminent’ Marxist historians has been their contention that history cannot be re-written or revised (once the Marxists have re-written them!!!) One of the known toadies of the Marxist party, a dubious scholar called R.S Sharma, recently wrote an article in a newspaper in which he shamelessly said that there should not be any tampering with history, at least in those areas on which there is a general consensus among historians. When asked about the topics on which there is “general consensus” and the historians among whom this consensus has been arrived at, he preferred to maintain a mysterious silence. Professor Makkhan Lal and Professor Rajendra Dixit have said in this context: “All one could gather is that there is agreement among some of the ‘eminent’ historians and the topics are those that can be used for blackening the ancient period of Indian history. Thus the hardcore of this argument is that whatever has been written by the ‘eminent’ historians on those areas of ancient Indian history is final. No modification, no addition and no deletion could be made on their pronouncements”.
Just as there is a raging controversy on the writing of Indian History, so also there is an intensely hot debate going on regarding the nature of the history of Latin America and Mexico. The debate is whether it should be viewed as the discovery of a new world and new economic resources for Europe or it should be seen as the destruction of the independently developed native civilizations by technologically more advanced nations that have an unending lust for looting others’ treasures and making people subservient.
When the question of celebrating 500 years of the ‘discovery’ of South America arose in Europe in the 1990s, a simple but very sharp historical statement was made by the historians from Latin America: “IT MAY BE A SUBJECT OF CELEBRATIONS FOR EUROPEANS BUT FOR US IT IS A SUBJECT OF MOURNING BECAUSE JUST IN A FEW YEARS THE EUROPEANS DESTROYED OUR CIVILIZATION DEVELOPED OVER SEVERAL THOUSANDS OF YEARS”.
What the native historians of South America of feeling about the approach of European historians today, so also the Genuine historians of India are feeling about the Misleading, Malicious, and Malafide Marxist approach to the writing of India’s ancient history and culture. the Greek tragedy of India if that all the instruments of the Indian state – the executive, the legislature and the judiciary- heavily infected, infiltrated and subverted by the menacing Marxist——are completely regulating and controlling (even strangulating!!!) the writing of ancient Indian history and culture.
Monday, 23 November, 2009 , 02:27 PM
In these columns on Thursday, 19 November, 2009, I wrote the 7th part of my review of the book titled ‘EDUCATING TO CONFUSE AND DISRUPT: Defiling History and Education System of India’, authored by two bold intellectual Kshatriyas Professor Makkhan Lal and Professor Rajendra Dixit, who mercifully are not the usually ignorant servile, spineless, pseudo-secular and anti-Hindu academic vermin including the most vicious and virulent Marxist brand, sponsored by the government dressed in brief authority.
Most people view history in terms of different periods like ancient, medieval and modern — each period being characterized by a different political, economic and social setup. History is neither a simple chronicle of the past nor a list of rulers and kings and the narratives of their rules. The past is not simply a collage of different ages or a hotchpotch of facts. History is an extremely complex discipline and the historians disagree on what it is. E. H Carr, in his famous book, ‘What is History?’ wrote that ‘History is a continuous process of interaction between the historian and his facts (Thereby implying that it was changeable: these words within brackets mine.)’. Thus he fully endorsed the view of another historian R.G Collingwood who in his equally famous book ‘The idea of history’ wrote: ‘Each age writes its own history and each age must reinterpret the past in the light of its own preoccupations’. The great Italian Historian and social theorist Benedetto Croce said all history is contemporary history.
What these great historians have said makes it clear that no complete description of the past can be given and that all historical descriptions are by nature temporary and provisional. Taking note of all these perceptions of history, Professor Makkhan Lal and Professor Rajendra Dixit have said that all this is true not only of historical descriptions, but also of historical explanations and interpretations. The main idea behind all these suggestions like ‘each age having to write its own history’ is not to produce a root-and-branch new version of history every 10, 20, or 50 years, but to continue refining and revising what has been written before, while also opening up totally new areas.
To quote the words of Professor Makkhan Lal and Professor Rajendra Dixit in this context: ‘We must have proper balance of time, of change and continuity and of similarity and difference which are central to our understanding of the nature of history and the dynamics of social development. We, in our enthusiasm, must not lose sight of the fact that ‘each age is a unique manifestation of the human spirit with its own culture and values. For one age to understand another, there must be recognition that the passage of time has profoundly altered both, condition of life and the mentality of men and women. History thus must be written and rewritten observing the long established, though constantly developing canons of historical profession. History must be as reliable as it is possible to make it.
All the Marxist, both mercenary and devious, historians of Jawaharlal Nehru University have been working day and night with the full political backing of the Government of India to produce their own doctored version of Indian history. According to these Marxist historians, real history of India begins with the Arab conquest of Sindh in 712 AD. I would like to ask this simple question: are they writing the history of largely Hindu India or the history of Muslim Pakistan?
The problem with Marxist historiography and its relationship with history is quite curious and indeed bewildering. For all Marxist historians, the problem of history is not just understanding ‘what happened’, ‘how it happened’ and ‘why it happened’. For them the problem is ‘How to how to change the world’ by the use of doctored history. At the bottom of this view lies the fundamental Marxist belief that the society we live in is the bad bourgeois society and very fortunately, this society is in a state of crisis. The good society which lies around the corner can be easily attained if only ‘WE’ work systematically to destroy the language, the values, the culture, the ideology of this bourgeois society. According to the Marxists, this calls for a massive, radical Left-wing political programme and consequently everything that historians ought to write, every criticism they ought to make, is determined and controlled by this over-riding political objective of destruction of bourgeois society.
In post Independent India, according to the Congress Party from the days of Pandit Nehru till today — and even more so for the Communist-Marxist traitors — the bourgeois society means only the Hindu Society and none other. The British Imperialist historians in the 18th and 19th centuries and even in the early 20th century consistently opined that the ancient Hindus had no sense of history writing and whatever was written in the name of history was nothing more than a mythical story without any sense. Many anti-Hindu pseudo-secular historians and Marxist Historians schooled in this colonial missionary tradition in post-independent India have reveled in denigrating anything and everything ‘Hindu’ or ‘Indian’.
Professor Makkhan Lal and Professor Rajendra Dixit have rejected summarily rejected this prejudiced and wholly unbalanced and bordering on the insane verdict of this paid band of paid storm-troopers of the Congress Party and the Communist Parties. To quote their exact words in this context: ‘To say that Indians had no awareness and concern about their own history and no sense of writing it would be grossly incorrect. The knowledge of History was given a very high place in ancient India. It was accorded sanctity equal to that of a VEDA. The Atharva Veda, Brahmanas and Upanishads include ITIHAS-PURANA as one of the branches of knowledge. Kautilya in his ‘Arthashastra’ (4th century BC) advices the king to devote a part of his time everyday to hearing the narrations from history. According to the Puranas, the following are the subject matters of history: Sarga (evolution of universe), PratiSarga (involution of Universe), Manvantantar (recurring of time), Vamsha (genealogical list of kings and sages), and VamshanuCharita (life stories of some selected characters). In the context of the Puranas, it has to be understood that in ancient India, ITIHAS was looked upon as a means to illuminate the present and the future in the light of the past.’
Thus according to our Hindu ancestors of ancient India, the purpose of history was to generate a holistic understanding and inculcate a sense of history and sacrifice to be made by individuals for their families, by families for their clans, by clans for their villages and by villages for Janapadas and the RASHTRA, and ultimately for all of humanity as such. History was viewed and treated as a powerful vehicle for the awakening of cultural and social consciousness. It was perhaps for this reason that the narration of Puranas was made a part of the annual ritual in every village and town during the rainy season and at the time of festivals. This hoary and glorious tradition continues even today in many of the villages and town of India. Great historians like F.E Pargiter and H.C RayChaudhury have attempted to write our history on the basis of the genealogies of various dynasties given in the Puranas. The Greek Ambassador Megasthenes in the court of ChandraGupta Maurya (324BC to 300BC) has testified to the existence of a list of 153 Kings whose reigns had spanned, till then, a long period of 6053 years.
These two authors have given a very interesting account of writings on the history of ancient India by the foreigners from pre-Christian times. Megasthenes the Greek Ambassador wrote a book about India titled ‘Indika’ which is no longer available to us we know about his writings through the extracts in the writings of Diodorous, Strabo and Arrian. We can see that Megasthenes had little or virtually no understanding of the Indian society and the Indian social systems. For example, he mentions that there were 7 castes in the Indian society. Professor Makkhan Lal and Professor Rajendra Dixit have rightly summed up that the discrepancies in Megasthenes’s work seem to be rooted in his want of knowledge of any Indian language and in his not being a part of the Indian society and psyche.
Many Chinese travellers visited India from the early century of the Christian era to about 1000 AD. They came as Buddhist pilgrims to study Buddhism and therefore their accounts are somewhat tilted towards Buddhism. Of these, the most illustrious ones are Fa-Hien, Hiuen-Tsang and I-Tsing. Though we get some general information about the places/ regions they visited, from their accounts, yet the problem is they give an exaggerated account of Buddhism during the respective periods. For example, Hiuen-Tsang describes Emperor Harshavardhana as a staunch follower of Buddhism in the first half of the 7th century. This is not correct. In his own Royal epigraphs, Emperor Harshavardhana has portrayed himself as an ardent devotee of Lord Siva. Hiuen-Tsang failed to understand that unlike foreign rulers, Hindu rulers give equal respect to all religions.
The next important phase of Indian historiography began with Al-Beruni, the great Muslim traveler and historian. Born in Central Asia in 973 AD, he died in Ghazni in present day Afghanistan in 1048 AD. He was the court historian of Mahmud of Ghazni. When Mahmud Ghazni attacked India several times in the first quarter of the 11th century AD, Al-Beruni accompanied him. He also visited several parts of India. He studied Sanskrit and tried to gain knowledge of Hindu sources. His acute observations cover a range of subjects from philosophy, religion, culture and society, to science, literature, art and medicine. Professor Makkhan Lal and Professor Rajendra Dixit have given this verdict on Al-Beruni: “Al-Beruni’s work can be termed as relatively objective … Al-Beruni appears to be comparatively less influenced by religious and racial considerations which we so often encounter in the writings of his successor Muslim and European historians.’
(To be contd…)